Can’t load Android system

Android Recovery

A typical error message on the 8227L_Demo_ALPS android headunits is the dreaded can’t load android system. This is an unfamiliar Black screen with Yellow, Red and Blue writing describing doom.

Can’t load Android system. Your data may be corrupt. If you continue to get this message, you may need to perform a factory data reset and erase all user data stored on this device.

DOS look

Firstly the screen looks nothing like your android headunit launcher. Someone has gone back in time with the 1980s DOS BOX look. Forget the aesthetics, no graphics and with the bare minimum of functionality. Your touch screen may not even be working and the direction is to use ‘volume and power buttons’. (if you don’t have buttons, see this article on using Android Recovery without buttons).

How did I get here?

This is the android headunit fall back position. Any serious error in the data could stop the head unit boot at all. This safety net steps in to help provide a way to clear the error and allow android to boot. Clever stuff really. It is better than ‘safe mode’. You can boot to the Android Recovery and not even have android installed (or working).

Android Headunit Tip

Remember this recovery screen is loaded before android boots and is only a last resort fallback position. There won’t be wifi or any advanced features. You quite probably don’t even have a working touch screen. This minimal effort recover screen gives the best chance for Recovery Mode to load. With a minimalist feature list it is less dependent on android to be working to actually run recovery code.

What does it all mean?

There are three distinct sections in this android headunit Android Recovery Mode error message.

Android Recovery

Android Recovery
Use volume up/down and power.

Yellow text is data about the SoC and MCU deployed in our android headunit and the version of android reported by it. This is just useful for identifying the headunit.

Some cryptic instructions point you on how to potentially move around the menu (Use volume up/down and power.)

Can’t Load Android System

Can’t load Android system. Your data may be corrupt. If you continue to get this message, you may need to perform a factory data reset and erase all user data stored on this device.

The red text is your error message.

This message may vary depending on your error. You may not have an error message here, which means this article may not apply. You could be looking for the Android Headunit Recovery Mode topic.

The red error message indicates there is a corrupt data on the android headunit and it is serious enough to prevent the android from booting up. It may be a temporary problem and after receiving the Can’t load Android system error message multiple time the suggestion is to choose the factory data reset option.

Factory data reset

Try again
Factory data reset
Power off

The blue section is the menu.

You may have two, three or many options available in the menu. The menu options reflect the advice in the red section above. You can reboot the android headunit (Try again). After several or many activations of ‘try again’, you get back to the same Recovery Mode each time. This proves the error is not just a glitch that would clear with a reboot. You can choose (Factory data reset) to wipe the user data and return the headunit to ‘factory’.

How do I get home?

It can be a long and fruitless journey, but one that is worth taking. Unfortunately many just don’t make it home 🙁

Android Headunit Tip

Navigate the menu. Volume up to move up, volume down to move down and power to select.

Do as the text suggests, reboot or (Try again). This will just ask the android headunit to reboot into android.

If the error has cleared, because it was a temporary glitch, then android will boot again. You probably won’t be here if the error has cleared with a reboot, but if you are and it rebooted ok, you are home.

If you are back to the same Android Recovery screen after each try, then choose the next option to Factory data reset. This will erase all your data. Your google account, the apps, everything you changed or installed. The headunit will attempt to reset the android back to as it was when it came out of the factory. If it was successful to factory data reset, just set the same google account in to your android head unit and you can restore your backed-up data from the cloud.

If Factory data reset does not work, you can select the option and activate it, but just reboot. Then this indicates the software is so corrupt it is not possible to restore the factory setting. A hardware fault in the ROM memory chip will cause this. You can’t recover from it and it should either be returned under warranty or replaced.

Buttons not working/no buttons

The helpful yellow section suggests using the Volume up/down and power buttons.

But what if you don’t have these buttons?

What if they don’t respond to the press or tap?

  • Try the touch screen, on later android headunit the touch screen is available in Android Recovery Mode. Swipe up and down and then tap.
  • Try other button combinations. You may find a different button will move up or down.
  • Try tapping the reset button. It may sound a bit odd, but there can be times that you can communicate with the android headunit via its RST button. Android Recovery is one of those times. Tap the RST button quickly to move the menu selection up (or possibly down) and a longer press to select.
  • Connect a USB keyboard to the USB port on your android head unit and use the arrow keys to navigate the menu. Press enter or space bar to activate.

    We have the Navigating the Android Recovery menus with no Buttons topic with further tips on navigating the advanced menus.

End of the road

If you have reached the end of the road and not booted your android headunit into android then this could indicate the head unit has faulty hardware. A reboot won’t fix that.

Android guy who loves his android head units as much as he loves his cherry pie.

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